Computer Woes Slow Mars Craft

Soil photos lost in transmission 'not really critical,' but lander's mission delayed
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2008 3:16 PM CDT
Phoenix's Robotic Arm scoop containing a soil sample poised over the partially open door of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer's number four cell, or oven.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Phoenix Mars Lander stopped digging yesterday to give its memory a rest after a computer glitch caused the loss of photographs and scientific data, the AP reports. Scientists were alerted to the problem after the lander transmitted a single piece of information 45,000 times. "It's unfortunate to lose any bit of science," one scientist said. "But it's not really critical stuff that you kick yourself over."